Formative Assessment – It is a process of continuous evaluation that occurs during teaching and learning, based on the search and interpretation of evidence about the achievement of students concerning a goal. It allows the teacher to identify where the learners are, know what difficulties they face in their learning process and determine what is next and where they should go to close the gap between current knowledge and expected goals and the best way to get there.
What is the Purpose of Formative Assessment?
Formative assessment is a permanent and systematic process in which information is calm and analyzed to understand and assess the learning processes and the levels of advancement in developing competencies. On this basis, decisions are made in a timely and relevant manner to continuously improve the learning and teaching methods. In this sense, the purpose of the evaluation is to contribute to developing the students’ competencies as the ultimate goal of learning the Basic Education Graduate Profile.
It is how a formative assessment focused on competencies seeks, in various stages of the process, the following:
- Assess students’ performance when solving situations or problems that mean genuine challenges for them, which allow them to put various capacities into play and integrate and combine them.
- Identify the current level students are at concerning competencies to help them advance to higher levels.
- Create ongoing opportunities for students to demonstrate how they can pertinently combine the various capabilities that make up a competency. The purpose of formative assessment is not to verify the isolated acquisition of content or skills or distinguish between pass and fail.
6 Useful Approaches to Formative Assessment
1. Analyze student work
You can learn a lot from student assignments, tests, and exams. It is especially so if students are essential to explain their thinking.
When teachers take the period to analyze student work, they gain insight into:
- The current knowledge of a student, their attitudes and skills on the subject.
- Strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles
- Need for additional or special assistance
This approach allows teachers to modify their instruction to be more effective in the future.
2. Round Robin Charts and Formative Assessment
This Strategy involves passing charts between the groups to assess understanding. Each group of 4-5 students begins with a graph and some markers.
- The group records a response to an open question.
- They can also share the information they have on a topic covered in class.
- Once the students finish the graph, they pass it on to the next group.
- Once each group has worked on each graph, the answers discuss in class.
3. Strategic Questioning
The questioning strategies can remain used with individuals, small groups, or the whole class.
Effective formative assessment strategies consist of asking students to answer higher-order questions like “why” and “how.” Higher-order questions require deeper thinking from students.
They can help the teacher separate the level and extent of student understanding.
4. Share Strategy as a Couple ( Think-pair-share )
It is one of many formative assessment strategies that is simple for teachers to use. The teacher asks a question, and the students write their answers.
Students are in pairs to discuss their answers. Teachers can move around the classroom and listen to various discussions. It allows them to gain valuable insight into levels of understanding.
5. Surveys in the Classroom for Formative Assessment
Surveys allow students to give quick and accurate answers. A silent survey is perfect for those “shy” students who have trouble speaking.
They are also a quick way to check to understand using mobile technology. Try tools like Poll Everywhere or Survey Planet.
6. One Minute Papers
One-minute jobs are usually ready at the end of the day. Students can work individually or in groups here.
They must answer a short question in writing. Typical questions from teachers center around:
- Main point.
- The most surprising concept.
- Unanswered questions.
- The most confusing area of a topic.
- What topic question might appear in the following quiz?
Without formative assessments, the first indication that a student does not understand. His approach to the material usually occurs when he fails an exam or a test. Thus, an innovative formative assessment strategy like this can drive failure out of our classroom.